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Labour's 'rents U-turn' shadow minister quits over Corbyn

Labour’s low profile housing spokesperson during the coalition government Emma Reynolds has resigned from the opposition front bench in protest at the landslide leadership victory by Jeremy Corbyn.

Reynolds - who was the little heard-of shadow communities secretary since the May general election - quit the role within minutes of Corbyn’s victory on Saturday.

At first, after the result was announced, she tweeted: “Congratulations to @Corbyn4Leader and @TomForDeputy for being elected as leader and deputy of our party. #labourleadership


A few moments later she updated followers by tweeting: Congratulations to @jeremyforlabour - he needs to space to build his own team. I will serve our party and my constituents from backbenches.

Later in the day she tweeted about her opposition to leaving NATO and opposition to leaving the EU - both policies which Corbyn says he is considering, although has not yet formally agreed.

Arguably the best-known action by Reynolds during her roles with responsibility for housing has been a well-publicised U-turn on rent controls. 

Back in January 2014, in her early period as shadow housing minister, Reynolds tweeted: “To be clear .... it is not Labour party policy to introduce rent controls.”

More recently in March of this year Reynolds told the Association of Residential Letting Agents that “[we] don’t want to introduce rent controls, so don’t believe everything you read in the newspapers.”

But a month later the party’s then-leader Ed Miliband announced the concept of what he called rent caps, which was a plank in the party’s election manifesto - which Reynolds backed.


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